Just hours removed from this morning’s stunning Oscar nominations Hollywood found itself right back in the thick of award season courtesy of tonight’s Broadcast Film Critics Association’s (BFCA) Critics’ Choice Awards. Now in its 18th year the awards have become an increasingly strong predictor of the Academy Awards and judging by tonight’s results that bodes incredibly well for dark horses “Argo” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Having picked up a surprising 8 Oscar nominations this morning “Playbook” had been gathering increased buzz throughout the last few days. The first film in 31 years to secure Academy Award nominations in all four of the major acting categories (and only the 14th movie ever to do so), “Playbook” showed why it was a legitimate Oscar threat tonight by kicking off the BFCA awards with a win in the Best Ensemble category. The film then had a clean sweep through the comedy categories with wins for film and its leads Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence also won for Best Actress in an Action Movie for “The Hunger Games,” but lost the overall Best Actress race to “Zero Dark Thirty” standout Jessica Chastain.
The evening also began to solidify a few of the other tightly contested Oscar races such as supporting actor and actress. While Anne Hathaway was the heavy favorite from the beginning for her role in "Les Miserables," tonight she took another step towards her first Academy Award win by topping a strong field that included her main competition Sally Field. Meanwhile "The Master's" Phillip Seymour Hoffman emerged as the victor from the somewhat more wide open supporting actor field over his main rival Tommy Lee Jones.
Regardless this is just the first leg of a very long race which got even more complicated courtesy of a surprise win by “Argo” director Ben Affleck. Unfairly snubbed by Oscar voters this morning, the charismatic filmmaker/actor earned a standing ovation when his name was called. However the biggest surprise came later in the show when “Argo” pulled off its own upset and won Best Picture.
It was actually very fitting that a dark horse took the top prize as the entire night was ripe with surprises. While “Lincoln” entered tonight with a record 13 BFCA nominations (and 12 Oscar nominations) both it and fellow frontrunner “Life of Pi” (with 11 Oscar nominations) didn’t have a strong showing. However “Lincoln’s” star Daniel Day-Lewis did (as expected) win for Best Actor and now stands poised to become the only actor in Oscar history to ever win Best Actor three times.
Sunday’s Golden Globes are the next stop on the road to Oscar and if they are anything like tonight then this year’s Academy Awards just got a lot more interesting!
So what's your take New York? Were you shocked by tonight's wins? Or are you still spinning from this morning's Oscar nominations. Hit the comments and let us know.